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Spate of attacks on Hunter’s police


Northern Region Commander Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell says there is never an excuse for assaulting a police officer.  

His comment comes after several attacks on police in the Port Stephens, Newcastle and Hunter districts over the past few weeks.

In Maitland, three officers were assaulted after stopping a vehicle due to dangerous driving, with one sustaining a fractured eye socket, while another officer was allegedly threatened with a knife in a high-profile incident at Hamilton South.

“Thousands of police officers go out every day and face the unknown,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.

“They put themselves in harm’s way to protect the community.

“In recent weeks, our Hunter officers have faced some traumatic and terrifying incidents, all while attending routine callouts.

“Violence against any emergency service worker is totally unacceptable, and we will continue to do all we can to put these offenders before the courts.”

Across the Port Stephens, Newcastle and Hunter districts, 67 officers have been assaulted while executing their duty this year to date.

Police Association of NSW, Northern Region Office executive member, Ian Allwood, said the attacks were “disgusting”.

He added the conduct of the people involved in the incidents was “quite frankly disturbing”.

During the assault at Hamilton South last week, two police officers were threatened verbally and physically assaulted when they arrived in Fowler Street after being tipped off about a possible brawl.

Police subsequently released Body Worn Video of the incident, which went viral on social media.

“The level of senseless attacks, assaults and abuse that police officers are faced with every day is disgusting,” Mr Allwood said.

“Our members in the Hunter have worked hard to establish respectful and meaningful relationships with our communities.

“We know that the actions of a few do not reflect the wider community’s stance towards our members.

“Police officers and emergency workers are not punching bags; no person should come to work and be assaulted for simply carrying out the duty the community expects of them.

“I’m calling for people to respect our first responders and be calm.”

He added that since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March, police and emergency workers have performed extraordinary duties to keep the community safe.

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